Clean water saves lives after Pakistan floods

Clean water saves lives after Pakistan floods
2010-12-21 14:47:21
Church relief organizations say that providing filtered water has helped solve health problems in flood refugee camps following the nation’s worst ever floods. “Several children died owing to eruption of various stomach borne diseases and gastro in flood-hit areas,” Bishop Mushtaq Anjum of Vision for Kingdom Church in Pakistan (VFK) told “However, clean water has minimized the fatality rate although poor food is still a major concern,” he added. Bishop Anjum is presently overseeing the operation of seven filtered water plants for flood victims in Sindh province, the worst affected area. Imported American water plants treating 5,000 gallons of water per day have been posted at survivors’ camp sites for the last three months. But the nation’s energy crisis is also a challenge. “Though a Muslim-owned water tanker service is providing us with free water, we still have to rent generators during frequent power outages,” explained Bashir Allarakha, the Christian VFK water operator at the tent village in Kemari Town, Karachi. About 3000 people live on the site making it the second largest concentration of internally displaced persons in the seaport city. Media reports indicate there are a total of 17,000 flood survivors in various government-run relief camps in the Karachi metropolitan area. Parts of Balochistan and Sindh province are still underwater following the worst disaster in the country’s history. Bottled water, food items and hygiene kits topped Caritas Pakistan priorities during the flood relief phase earlier this year. The Catholic Church’s social arm has now aided over 40,000 flood affected families, including 2,950 minorities’ households. “Education of flood victims, most of them illiterate, is essential as some use bottled water for bathing and washing purposes,” said Caritas Pakistan Executive Secretary Anila J. Gill. “Last week we held the biggest distribution of our relief phase, providing bedding to 600 families in Karachi camps,” she said. “We remember our troubled Muslim siblings in prayers in the spirit of Christmas,” Gill concluded. Related reports Caritas Pakistan warns of tough winter ahead Church aids flood victims ’spiritually’ PA12555.1633
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